The best turntable for beginners is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT. This belt-driven, automatic turntable is affordable, reliable, and easy to use. It comes with a pre-installed cartridge and Bluetooth connectivity, making it a great option for anyone looking to start their vinyl record collection.
Best Turntables for Beginners
- Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT: This is a great option for beginners who want a reliable, affordable turntable. It is a belt-driven, automatic turntable that comes with a pre-installed cartridge. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to easily connect it to your speakers or headphones.
- Pro-Ject Debut Carbon: This is a step up from the Audio-Technica in terms of sound quality. It is a manual, belt-driven turntable that comes with a pre-installed cartridge. The platter is made of heavy acrylic, and the tonearm is made of carbon fiber, which helps to reduce vibrations and improve sound quality.
- Rega Planar 1: This turntable is a bit pricier than the Audio-Technica and Pro-Ject, but it is worth the investment for serious music enthusiasts. It is a manual, belt-driven turntable that comes with a high-quality cartridge pre-installed. The platter is made of a dense material called phenolic resin, which helps to reduce vibrations and improve sound quality.
Key Features to Look for in a Turntable for Beginners
Before we dive into the best turntables for beginners, let’s take a look at the key features you should consider when choosing a turntable.
- Belt Drive or Direct Drive: The motor that drives the turntable platter can either be belt-driven or direct-driven. Belt-driven turntables are quieter and produce less vibration than direct-driven turntables. Direct-drive turntables, on the other hand, are more durable and can handle more heavy-duty use.
- Manual or Automatic: Manual turntables require the user to manually lift and place the tonearm onto the record, while automatic turntables have a mechanism that automatically lowers and raises the tonearm. Automatic turntables are more convenient, especially for beginners who may not be familiar with the process of placing the tonearm.
- Cartridge: The cartridge is the part of the turntable that houses the needle or stylus. It is responsible for translating the grooves on the record into sound. Many turntables come with a cartridge pre-installed, while others require you to purchase a cartridge separately. Look for a cartridge that has a replaceable stylus, as this will save you money in the long run.
- Platter: The platter is the circular platform on which you place the record. Look for a platter that is heavy and made of a dense material like metal or acrylic. A heavy platter helps to reduce vibrations and improve sound quality.
How do I know which turntable to buy?
Choosing the right turntable can be overwhelming, but there are a few key factors to consider. Look for a turntable with a stable platter, a good tonearm, and a quality cartridge. Belt-driven turntables are generally considered to offer better sound quality, while direct-drive turntables are more durable. Consider your budget and whether you want an automatic or manual turntable. It’s also important to read reviews and do your research before making a purchase.
Do I really need a turntable?
Whether or not you need a turntable depends on your personal preferences. If you enjoy collecting vinyl records and appreciate the unique sound they offer, a turntable can be a great investment. Some people also prefer the physical experience of handling and playing vinyl records. However, if you’re not interested in vinyl records, or prefer digital music, a turntable may not be necessary for you.
How much do you need to spend on a good turntable?
The cost of a good turntable can vary widely, but a decent entry-level turntable can be found for around $200. Spending more can get you higher-quality components and better sound, but it’s important to find a turntable that fits within your budget. It’s also important to consider the cost of additional accessories like speakers, a preamp, and cartridges when budgeting for a turntable.
Is it worth buying an expensive turntable?
Whether or not an expensive turntable is worth the investment depends on your individual preferences and budget. Expensive turntables generally offer better build quality, higher-quality components, and better sound.
However, if you’re just starting out with vinyl and aren’t yet sure if it’s a hobby you want to invest heavily in, a more affordable turntable may be a better choice. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how much you want to invest in your turntable setup.
How much should I expect to spend on a turntable for beginners?
You can find decent turntables for beginners in the $100 to $300 price range. If you are willing to invest more, you can find higher-end turntables with better sound quality and durability.
Should I buy a manual or automatic turntable?
It depends on your personal preference. Manual turntables require more effort to use and may take some practice to get the hang of, but they are generally considered to offer better sound quality. Automatic turntables are more convenient, especially for beginners who may not be familiar with the process of placing the tonearm.
Can I use any speakers with my turntable?
You can use any speakers with your turntable, but you will need a phono preamp to boost the signal from the turntable to the speakers. Some turntables have a built-in preamp, while others require an external preamp.
Can I play modern records on a turntable?
Yes, modern records are typically made to the same specifications as classic vinyl records and can be played on any turntable that is designed for vinyl.
Choosing the best turntable for beginners can be a daunting task, but it is important to consider key features like belt drive or direct drive, manual or automatic operation, cartridge, and platter material. Some of the best turntables for beginners include the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, and Rega Planar 1.
When purchasing a turntable, make sure to also consider the cost of additional accessories like speakers and a phono preamp. With a little bit of research and careful consideration, beginners can find a turntable that suits their needs and helps them to fully appreciate the unique sound of vinyl records.